Editor s Note: This article was last updated September 10, 2015.

Front-load washing machines and top-load washing machines have the same job   to wash your laundry   but there are quite a few differences between the two styles. Your choice might be dictated by the design of your home, though it can also come down to personal preference. Here are five big differences between front-load washers and top-loading washers.

The front-load washer design is convenient if you elevate the unit on a pedestal, but if it isn t on a pedestal drawer, you will be bending down a lot to load and unload your laundry. The top-load washer design is easy to load, but unloading can be a little less convenient because you re reaching down into the tub to get your laundry out. In the end, it s purely personal preference since both styles come with pros and cons.

One very important thing to consider when deciding between a front-load or a top-load washer is which style will fit in your laundry room the best. The two styles, generally, are close in width, but they differ quite a bit in height and depth. Additionally, front-load washers can be quite a bit taller than top-load washers if you decide to set it on the optional pedestal drawer.

The control panel on a front-load washer sits in an entirely different location, on the front of the unit, than the traditional top-load washing machine control panel, which is on the back of the unit. However, with the new and improved top-load washers that are being manufactured, many companies are now offering top-loading washers with front controls, which make them more convenient to operate. With the controls on the front, you don t have to reach over the entire unit to select the wash cycle each time you do a load of laundry.

One thing that has made front-load washers rise in popularity over the last few years is their efficiency   they are incredibly energy efficient appliances and hold an edge over traditional top-load washers. However, new top-loading washing machines are increasing in energy efficiency, closing the efficiency gap between the two styles.

Front-load washers don t include an agitator, and for many years top-load washers did. However, many top-loading washers are starting to come without the agitator, though there are still some manufacturers that make the very basic and standard top-load washers with them.

There are pros and cons to having an agitator. For instance, an agitator lowers washtub capacity. Additionally, drawstrings can get tangled around the agitator during the wash cycle. In a worst-case scenario, a drawstring can become so tangled that it damages the clothing.

On the opposite end of the agitator question, many consumers argue that washing machines with agitators will clean better than washing machines without them.

Many of these differences are simply personal preferences. However, they are all things you should consider before purchasing a front-load or top-load washer.

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